By signing Odell Beckham Jr., a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, to a one-year contract on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens made their most daring move of the offseason and sent perhaps their strongest message to Lamar Jackson, their disgruntled quarterback.
The deal is worth up to $18 million and has a guaranteed $15 million amount.
Beckham had been in touch with the Ravens since last year and met with them two weeks ago at the annual league meeting. A day before Beckham was supposed to visit the New York Jets, Baltimore reached an agreement.
On Instagram, Beckham, 30, announced the news on Sunday night.
Beckham joined the team a month after Jackson asked the Ravens to trade him. Since then, Baltimore has given Jackson the nonexclusive franchise tag, but no other team has publicly pursued him.
On the NFL’s most unproven group of wide receivers, Beckham becomes the most decorated player. Beckham’s health is the big question because he didn’t play all season last year because he tore the ACL in his left knee during Super Bowl LVI.
None of the Ravens’ eight wide receivers on the roster (Rashod Bateman, Nelson Agholor, Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace, James Proche II, Andy Isabella, Mike Thomas and Shemar Bridges) has at any point had a 1,000-yard season. Five of them have been registered by Beckham.
In terms of receiving yards by wideouts, Baltimore has finished last in the NFL in three of the last four seasons (2019, 2020, and 2022).
From Derrick Mason to Anquan Boldin to Steve Smith Sr., the Ravens have succeeded in acquiring wide receivers over the age of 30. Baltimore additionally has missed on older wideouts with Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree and Sammy Watkins.
Despite selecting Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in the first round in 2019 and Bateman in the first round in 2021, Baltimore has been forced to rely on free agency to strengthen this position. The Ravens are the only team to not select a wide receiver for the Pro Bowl.
In December, Beckham went on free agent visits to the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Buffalo Bills, but no deal was made.
He demonstrated, prior to the knee injury, during the championship season with the Los Angeles Rams that he can still be an impact player despite having been overlooked by the Cleveland Browns’ offense.
Following his release from the Browns in November of the 2021 season, Beckham signed with the Rams.
He caught five touchdowns with the Rams in eight regular-season games and two in four playoff games. In 12 games for the Rams, he had 48 receptions for 593 yards.
In six games for the Browns, Beckham had 17 receptions for 232 yards and no touchdowns before being released by Cleveland.
In his first season with Cleveland, the three-time Pro Bowl selection had 1,035 receiving yards in 2019. However, in 2020, he suffered a knee injury that ended his season. In his career, he has surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark five times.
In the 2014 NFL draft, the Giants selected Beckham with the 12th overall pick. He went on to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2014 and quickly established himself as a star for the Giants. In each of his first three seasons, he exceeded 1,300 yards receiving. In August 2018, he agreed to a five-year, $98.5 million contract with the Giants. However, the following offseason, he was traded to the Browns.